admin / January 16, 2017

Why is Good Quality Bread So Expensive?

I’ll admit it. I couldn’t go a day without at least once slice of bread. I used to think only artisan bread was expensive but these days it seems (at least where I live), prices of all types of bread have been rising…no pun intended.

I’ve been buying bread from a discount supermarket and while it’s okay, it’s not that great and a couple of loaves have been shall I say, stale tasting.

Over the holidays I got spoiled because the high end supermarket in town sold their artisan bread for 50% off and I got hooked.

How come this bread is so pricey I asked myself, after all it’s just flour, yeast, salt, sugar and water?

I think the actual labor part of making the bread is what pushes the price up and with that in mind I made a resolution to start making my own.

I have a bread machine which I love but I decided to make everything from hand. I’ve got three recipes and I’m testing to see which one is the easiest and produces the best tasting bread. I tried one batch the other day and once I’ve tried the others and have my results I’ll share them with you.

One thing I have found is a great shortcut is my food dehydrator because it’s perfect for helping the bread to rise and even has a setting just for that purpose.

I’d love to hear if you make your own bread. Any tips or shortcuts you’d like to share? Do you use regular flour or bread flour?

admin / January 19, 2012

Five Must Have Appliances for the Budget Smart Kitchen

Since my teenage years I’ve been a collecter of cooking gadgets, appliances and utensils. However, if I had to narrow down five appliances that I would keep no matter what, these would top my list. I don’t think any budget smart kitchen should be without them-

Slow Cooker

Even when they went out of fashion I still used one. I now have two and thinking about adding a third one. I’ve used mine from everything from making mashed potatoes to apple butter. Most of the time I rely on them for soups and stews. They’re not expensive to buy, cost efficient to run, and once everything’s placed inside you can walk away and forget about it. I can’t think of an easier way to get dinner on the table.

Bread Machine

One of my favorite indulgences is artisan breads. Problem is they cost a lot and the prices are rising (no pun intended). One of my New Year resolutions was to start making my own. One I especially love is cheese bread. This past weekend I made a cheese and onion bread. They’re not that expensive to buy, and like the slow cooker, when everything’s added you can leave it unattended. Check out garage sales because I see them a lot. Seems people buy one and don’t realize just how great they are.

Food Dehydrator

And speaking of cheese and onion bread. The onions  I used were dried Vidalia onions I’d bought when they were in abundance and hence cheap, and used my food dehydrator. When you don’t have time to can this is a lifesaver. This summer I dehydrated strawberries, onions and peppers. At Christmas when I bought a box of oranges, I dehydrated those too and will be using them in brownies. Once again check garage sales and also thrift stores for this appliance.

Food Saver

I call this a life saver because once again if you don’t have time to can or have leftoevers you can’t eat before they go bad, this machine comes to the rescue. They’re coming down in price and a couple of models you can buy at supermarkets. I’ve used mine to store homemade TV dinners, soups, fish from warehouse stores, and even items I’ve purchased from bulk bins.

Food Processor

Last one on my list, and probably the most expensive of the bunch depending on what brand you buy, the food processor. I use mine for homeade dips and spreads like hummus which I think is overpriced at the store. I also use it for things like bean burgers rather than mash the beans by hand.

These are all items that I feel save you money and time. Have them in your kitchen and you’re more likely to make your own foods. You’ll rely less on processed foods that are not only take a chunk of your budget but they’re not that great for your health either.

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